Friday, July 22, 2011

Meli Topaz English, Spring 1993-May 16, 2011

If you've been visiting this site at all this Spring, you may have noticed that I haven't posted since I wrote about our loss of Alex on April 30.  I had hoped that I could post, on average, once a week, but that was a bit of blow, which was followed up by the loss of Meli Topaz on May 16; I've known I had to write about this loss as well, before I did anything else, but it's been difficult to do so.

Meli was one of the biggest kitties I've ever known, in terms of personality.  She wasn't particularly large physically but she more than made up for that in force of character.  There is no doubt that she, in fact, ran this house (and the businesses it houses), which is probably a big part of the reason it's been hard to get past losing her.

Meli was diagnosed with cancer in February of this year.  Due to the location of the tumor, and the fact it had mineralized, the vet and I agreed surgery was not an option.  It was a slow-growing form and we were more concerned with Meli's ongoing Inflammatory Bowel Disease.  The stress of Alex's passing, however, seems to have kicked the cancer into high gear and she was visibly slowing down day by day.  When I took her to the vet on May 16, I knew time was short.  I had hoped we could stay together longer but the vet and I discussed it and decided to let her go home while still the cat she had been her whole life.  The hardest part about it was that, unlike Alex, Meli was still quite articulate and engaged.  However, I could not run the risk of her suffering.

Meli came to us in 2001.  She is, without question, the most beautiful cat I've ever had the privilege of housing.  She was also one of the most expressive - and territorial.  She was a past master of exit strategies; this, coupled with her extreme territoriality, made for a challenging situation.  Somehow, she would always manage to escape when I was wearing my slippers and it was precipitating.  Except for the time she shot across the front porch, down my neighbor's driveway and stopped, dropped and rolled in the garden.  And picked up a very large leopard slug in her fur.  She got a bath that time but that didn't stop her.  (Slug slime in long cat fur is pretty gross, by the way.)  Then there was the time she took off after her "outside brother" Bubba (who lives with Kate and Jan, two houses down); I discovered her in a Mexican standoff with Bubba and his brother Pootie.

So, she was tough and fearless.  And articulate.  We had conversations.  Lots of 'em.  Mostly about her ongoing disappointment with my performance in the face of her persistent corrections.  One of the best things about the warm weather coming in the Spring and Summer was that she was a "rubber" - she would rub up against my legs; nothing was softer.  She was a kisser - I know she kissed me many thousands more times than I managed to kiss her.  (Dora is a kisser too, but not my face; only my hands.)  It's hard to go on - there are so many wonderful memories.

The house is so much quieter, now.

1 comment:

jdmiller said...

So sorry for the loss of your friend. I have lost many furry friends over the years and I know how hard it can be. Take comfort in knowing that you gave her a good life and that you were lucky enough to have that time together.